Delhi: The Supreme Court stayed Rahul Gandhi's conviction in connection with the Modi surname defamation case. The apex court decision came against the Gujarat HC's verdict of convicting the Congress leader in the case and sentencing him a 2-year imprisonment. SC then stayed the earlier order in a big relief to Gandhi, therefore restoring his status as the Member of Parliament from Wayanad.
Senior Advocate Dr Abhishek Manu Singhvi was appearing before the bench on behalf of Gandhi. A three-judge bench of Justices BR Gavai, PS Narasimha and Sanjay Kumar was hearing Gandhi’s plea against the Gujarat HC's order of conviction.
Here are key points from the argument made by Advocate Singhvi on behalf of the Congress leader:
1. Singhvi pointed out that the original surname of complainant BJP MLA Purnesh Modi is not 'Modi.' He also stated that out of the 13 crore members of the Modi community, only a few, BJP members filed complaints alleging defamation against the Congress leader.
2. He then highlighted that any Court giving verdict of maximum sentence of two years for criminal defamation is an extreme rare case. He argued that maximum sentence is given to convicts for heinous crimes or crimes against the society. While contending his argument, he mentioned that Gandhi's conviction would silence his voice for eight years, as he'll be disqualified from contesting elections.
3. Singhvi underscored the fact that the High Court passed the conviction order 66 days after reserving the judgement. Further, he also stated that Gandhi is not a 'hardened criminal.' He mentioned that his client had only one contempt case in SC in which he tendered apology. Rest all pending case were filed by BJP workers.
4. He then contended over the possible consequence of Gandhi's conviction in the case, leading to a bye-election in Wayanad. He urged the court to stay the conviction as the Congress leader has already missed a couple of Lok Sabha sessions and would end up losing the entire term if the stay is not invoked.
5. Most importantly, Singhvi argued on the evidence of the case. He highlighted that the complainant has not heard Gandhi's speech first hand, he gathered the information of the Congress leader's statement through news articles and WhatsApp messages. He stated that the complainant himself never proved the speech with an evidence.
Singhvi's strong argument before the apex court led the Congress leader's conviction to be stayed. Rahul will soon be seen in the Lok Sabha after his MP status is reinstated by the Lok Sabha Secretariat.